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U.S. House of Representatives

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Us 7, Jpl 4, Msl 3, Mars 3, Nasa 3, Koehler 2, Justin 2, Pebble 2, Sol 2, Bradrad 1, Emily 1, Solis 1, Navcam 1, Chiusi 1, Breitbart 1, Justin Mackey 1, Marcella Lee 1, Victor Hess 1, Ken Edgett 1, Belote 1,
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  CSPAN    U.S. House of Representatives    News  News/Business. Live  
   coverage of House proceedings.  

    August 8, 2012
    4:08 - 4:59pm EDT  

sun. i also wanted to talk about the fact that we have cleared the grimrim's anomaly. it was related to the nonvolatile memory. the engineers have been working with them and they understand the problem. we actually got data that shows the instrument is completely healthy. rems is the weather instrument we have on the rover. we had an anomaly with it yesterday. that system is now help thehealthy and will be operating tomorrow. all good news. as far as the other systems the power system is very healthy. the radio isotope generator is
about 115 mosqueswatts. we have more power than we expected and that will be able to keep the grover awake longer. we also have some thermal data indicating it is warmer than what are predicts say. we are still looking at why that is. it could be that the internal models are a little different for gail and our models for the broker or a little different. we are investigating that -- our models for the rover are a little different. the advantage is that in warming up actuator's to move the arms and drive, we will have to use -- we will have to use less energy. as far as our plans for the next
sol, which are planning sol 3 right now. very exciting we are going to do the full color panorama. those who have been working on that for the last several months are very excited. there'll be some amazing images from that. on sol 3 we are getting ready for the flight software transition. couple folks have been working on that for over a year. they have generated hundreds of files with thousands of commands that we have to execute over the software transition creek we will uplink those on the antenna the morning of sol 3. that is very exciting.
we will to make sure we got to the new software. one of the other issues we are looking at, you can see where the antenna is here and s earth sets, there is a little bit of an occlusion. we don't actually have horizon to horizon coverage of the antenna so today we are going to operate a high gain in 10 at all the way through a process so it can characterize what the occlusion is so we can be consistent with what the capability is. i would like to introduce my colleague to the left. we have been working together for 16 years. we are wrote -- we were both very young on mars pathfinder and you can make an assessment where we have come. justin mackey builds and is operating the hazcam and the navcam on msl.
if you bring up the first image here this is the anti-sonun image. go ahead and bring up the first image. if you look up here at the rover, it is the first image that we took. i have the rsm in the direction of where it was pointing when we took this image. you can see the shadow of the arm in the image and you can see that the mast is deployed. the reason we take this image is we did a sun find to update and make sure that our understanding of the azimuth ankle was correct. then we take the anti-sun image to make sure is 180 degrees off
the shadow of where the sun is on the other side. since the antenna session work rate yesterday it will probably work even better today based on that degree of the update. dustin mackey is the owner of the cameras who took this image. i will pass it off to him to talk about that image and the other images he took yesterday. >> this is our first image from the navcam so it is notable in that sense. not only were they used to check out the attitude and positioning system of the rover, which were rare well. the shadow should be in the center of the image. it may look below off-center but that is because we used the left navcam to obtain that image. it is a great shot because it does show mars. you can see in the lower left portion of the image of the
robotic arm. there is a cover with the curiosity logo on there. there is an augmented reality tag their, the pixilated rover that is in the center of the image. this will be active once the rover starts moving. the lower right side of the image shows one of the wheels. when this came down over night we were happy to see that the rover is relatively dust free. there was some concern that we kicked up a lot of dust and during landing. this shows that it is not that bad. the next graphic, just to give you a quick overview, shows the navcam, a stereo pair of cameras in the field of view.
the cameras are designed to provide navigation and planning assistance. we do 360 degree panorama's and use those stereo images to do drive planning. the cameras were be here at -- were built here at jpl. we take the same design that we used on the last mission and built them for msl. they are working very nicely. we checked out the cameras with that image and we are very happy. all the exposure times are as expected. after that image we acquired a 360 degree panorama. this graphic shows the thumbnail images from that panorama.
we downlink those and put together this mosaic. these are being generated at jpl by the multi image processing lab. we will be down linking the full resolution versions of these images over the next day or two. the next graphic shows what we call a koehler projection. we took a panorama of the deck to document the state of the deck after landing. it is low resolution but you can see the rover of their -- there. q. can see the shadow of the rsm pointing to the right. -- you can see the shadow. we will get the full resolution version of those images down and
we are looking forward to that. the next slide shows the first two full range images we have downloaded. this is a great shot pointed to the north. you can see in the near field these dour marks that the descent engine is made on the surface, which kicked up some of that dust that we saw in the hazcam images on landing day. near the middle of the image it is sloping downhill and then there is a little drop off near the middle of the image. beyond that you go all the way out to the horizon and you can see the north crater rim of scale greater -- gale crater. we are very excited to see the system working. based on what we have gotten in the last 12 hours we have
declared the navcams commission and ready to use. i will turn over to john. >> if we can go to the next one there, you will see the same image that justin was just talking about. we are looking to the north so that is the rim of gale crater that is facing the northern lowlands of mars. has been deeply dissected and what struck the science team about the image you would be forgiven for thinking that nasa was trying to pull fast one on you and put a road map of the mojave desert and took a picture. the thing that is amazing about this is to a certain extent, the first impression you get is how earth like this seems, looking at that landscape.
you are also looking at the same direction the alluvial fan is coming from. all of the sedentary material what we can confirm in terms of looking at the hirise images is that all those materials are derived from the erosion of those mountains there. that is the source for all this material. it is kind of fantastic to look out across their and see something that has really attracted people to particular parts of mars for years and wonder what it looks like you landed on landscaped with an alluvial fan that was created by water. there you are looking toward the watershed that deliver those materials. in the middle ground, you can see some dark looking features that are scarps 2-3 meters in
height. we have no idea what those are. they are related to the bedrock that is exposed. in the immediate foreground you see this little low that justin mentioned. a los low, 1 or 2 degrees away from the rover and for that depression, -- a low slope. we don't know geologically what that means. in the foreground is something that is particularly interesting. these are these thrusters impingement excavation areas. what is cool about this is we got some for retrenching -- freakonomicsfree trenching. this is a freebie, right off the
bat. what is cool about this, we will resume in to the mark on the side. we estimate right now that this is approximately a half meter in with. what chiusi beneath the soil is bedrock. cardoza -- let you see beneath the soil is bedrock. some of you may remember the phoenix a landing. what we are looking for here is the diversity of materials. so we see our first glimpse of bedrock. apparently there is a harder, rockier material beneath this when you are a gravel and pebbles -- beneath this veneer of gravel and pebble sprit we are already getting a glimpse into the sub service. -- into the subsurface. we already have an exploration
hole drilled for us. we will have some understanding of the debt of the bedrock. we have never done this before with a rover mission. i am going to turn it over to mike to show you some really cool stuff. >> i have two things to sheriff you today. first is not directly related to my role on msl but to my role in the mro project. i am the team leader for the imaging system on mro. one of my team members for my company was targeting mro up here as part of her duties and she brought to my attention the first thing i am going to show you. i need to set the stage because it will come on screen and flash off after a couple of seconds. what you are going to see is a picture we took on august 1 of
the landing area. obviously the lander and its other pieces are not in that image. the second image will come up a few seconds later the image we took on the seventh at the same time that hirise was taking the picture you have seen in the back of the room. it is 120 of the resolution of hirise. we can compare image to image but we also cover 50 times more area, and hirise does. it is typically 30 kilometers wide. where were looking sideways at the surface and the entire image
is like 275 kilometers long. we cover a huge section of marcella lee take these images. looking at the after image, she found something belote. i will draw your attention when the pictures come up -- she found something alogical cod. -- a little odd. the first graphic will flash between before and after. look over at the right to the upper left of that may set and you see these little black thing is clicking on and off. if we go to the next slide there will be another flickering image. you will see six spot.
ken edgett came in and saw this on the screen from the door of the room and said what is that? it is very obvious to people who know mars' very well, and very obvious to people who study gale that these were different. basically those are the six intrigued ballast masses -- entry ballast masses. they hit the surface and disturb the surface. they are about 12 kilometers down range from the lender. they have a 1 kilometer dispersal. these are what was thrown off just before the straighten up and fly right phase.
that is where they hit. we are all very pleased that it worked pretty the edl guys were very excited to see these. this was another test of all the modeling that have done for edl to do tell them how in merkt of dix come through the atmosphere. once mro is allowed to turn its payload back on, we will be able to do that test to look for these other large features. that is my first story. the next is an animation. this is the first 25 seconds of the video in thumbnail form. the first part of that you were in the dark.
then it popped off and use all it moving away. this is a thumbnail resolution video but it gives you an idea of the kind of actions we are going to see in the near future. that was six seconds of dark taken about 2.5 minutes before we landed. the next slide will show you something you have seen before. this is that thumbnail i showed a couple of days ago of the heat shield at a distance of about 15 meters. it is about 4.5 meters across. you have been hearing us and saying just wait until you see the good stuff. this is the good stuff and it is quite spectacular. you can actually see this ditching in the thermal blanket
-- the stitching in the thermal blanket. eventually we hope to have that same animation i just showed you in this resolution. i was going to do a couple of these thumbnail and then representative -- for resolution once, but i don't have time for that. the next one is a high resolution view of the vehicle sitting on the ground. the vehicle is 0.7 meter off the ground. it is about 0.9 meter wide, about 1 yard wide. you can see a pavel that is 5 centimeters across. -- a pebble that is 5 centimeters across. we are seeing some color
differences in the material, but i think the way the filter is reacting to that is being affected by the elimination conditions. something that is darker looks colored. we took hundreds of this image and we are adding them together and getting spectacular spatial resolution out of that. the camera is not in focus at the surface but not as much out of focus as i thought it would be. so it is really nice. the next one i think is another -- this is a hirise view. the color line is the one taken
about 30 seconds before touchdown. you are looking at a little white box, that is the site of the rover. it is located where we know from the closer images that it is positioned where it the rover is. it is very hard to show you at this scale, you should look at the image that will be on the web. there is a bunch of rock for the core of that image. there is a very sharp little rock to the southwest of the rover by about 50 meters. i look at this and say there are
plenty of places we can go. there is a question about if it is safe to move the rover. there is nothing under it are around it. so today's presentation was to fulfill the promise of having a slightly better pictures. they are more than slightly better and we took some great images on the way down. >> it is tough to compete with these fantastic images but i will report a snapshot of the first observations we have of the radiation internment on the surface of another planet, which is quite remarkable in itself. yesterday was the 100-year anniversary of the discovery of galactic, cosmic rays on earth
by victor hess with his hot air balloon in eastern germany. exactly 100 years later yesterday, we make the characterize it -- or characterize the first measurements of the radiation spectrum from the surface of mars. the next slide is zooming in on the top deck of the rover showing where the window is. it points toward these the net so we characterize and measure charged particle radiation coming in from the atmosphere as well as neutral particle radiation, neutrons and gamma rays. we have learned a lot in the last 100 years. we know that the two types of radiation in space are driven in large part by the sun.
they go with the solar cycle. it is a very interesting time because the entire nominal mission service operations will be right around solis maximum. you can see the data in white and the prediction of the solar cycle in red. we'll have an opportunity to get a good characterization of both the galactic cosmic ray background and also the solar energetic particles as a result of flairs or solar dorms on the sun -- solar storms on the sun. the cosmic rays very on an 11- year cycle. it happens on a scale of hours to days and it can be very intense. yester day the sun was very quiet in the location of mars.
the measurements we have are primarily galactic, cosmic rays. this is just a snapshot, close to the raw data that we observe from the surface. this was a 3.5 our observation with about one minute time resolution, one frame per minute of data storage. the mast had not been deployed yet so it was partially obstructing our field of view. we had not done a correction in the plastic detectors. these are arbitrary units but we have put for reference the average dose rate that we observed.
we have local over seven months to characterize bradrad and we are starting to characterize radiation on the surface. although it is a quiet time on the surface of mars, there is not a large contribution from solar energetic particles. you can see the spike in that plot. it is the contribution from heavy ions that are the biggest effect for biological organisms whether microbial life or astronauts on future missions to mars. what we will achieve with rad over the next days, months, and years, will be to characterize and accumulate statistics and gather energy spectra of each of these heavy ion eve dance.
-- heavy ions. it will help us understand and characterize their contribution to the radiation dose on the surface. this is just a snapshot but we do see the exciting elements of what we will be collecting and accumulating over the next months and years as we continue with our mission. so stay tuned for future results. >> we will began with questions here at the jet propulsion laboratory. wait for micron to come over to you. -- for a microphone. >> my question is for john. can we bring up the image of the close-up in the trench.
is that something we can bring up? >> it will just take a minute. >> it seemed like there might be some sort of -- at the top of the trench. can you speculate on what would cause a linear feature like that? >> sure, why not? [laughter] that is an entirely reasonable suggestion. that is something the team was talking about. i think we should just wait to get the mast cam data down but yes, it is a reasonable idea that there could be for actors
bill with some cementing material. >> one more question here and then a question on the phone line. >> i would like to speak about the temperature and the radiation. are you completely comfortable with the condition on mars about the rover or might there be a problem with winter, etc.? >> as far as the rover itself, we don't have any concerns about the temperature being a little higher. normally when we land on mars we update our thermal models to be consistent with what we see. that is part of the process. we woke up several times over
night last night to get telemetry points all through the night. what we will do with those this update our models. they may put different constraints but not significant constraint that we did not expect. if things get too warm, we might have a shorter operating time. for we let the cameras cool down, for example. we are still working on that. the higher temperatures are generally fantastic for us because the real issue we struggle with is how much energy we have to use to heat the actuators to drive and move the arm. this is good news on that front. >> all of the temperatures are within the operating range of our instruments. all the models -- all the models have a temperature variation and we are within the range of that.
>> ken is on the phone line. go ahead. >> the dead rock you see is that part of the original crater or is it formed later -- the bad rock. >> i think you are asking if that is the floor of the crater or some later of bedrock. >> i think given the elevation and the projection of the geometry of the rim of the crater, it would be pretty high up to be the floor of the crater. with lots of caveats our first guest is it could be potentially a rock units.
it formed some time well after. but we don't know how hard it is yet and people have different feelings about how hard the material needs to be before it is a rock. we will find out, so i will just leave the that that. it is probably not the floor of the crater. go-ahead, emily. >> the rock is excavated pretty deep so that means the soil you are sitting on is pretty disturbing. are you going to have to drive away to get some undisturbed soil? >> that is a great question. that is at the core of the team
discussion right now. there is obviously an opportunity there. the question is if we would use the instruments there, we have this thing called intermission that we do not have to drive anywhere if we don't want to. driving is an option there. as far as contamination go, the potential combustion products related to it, we have done a lot of studies here at jpl. most of us have a reasonable level of confidence that within a sol or two, it does not propose to much of a risk even with regard to interpretation of science data. it is definitely a bird in hand right there. i think we have to evaluate carefully and think about what we might do there.
>> we will take one on the phone line and then i will come back to leo. go ahead on the phone. >> a question with regard to the time lag with reducing images. jpl is pretty fast in releasing images. the question is, you are pushing the envelope of immediacy. even though the rover cannot see small stuff things of biological origin jump out at you. if your going to release these images and something jumps up that is clearly anomalous possibly occur biological origin will you hold the image or just put it out there? the somebody screamed the image is an estate that does not look natural -- do you have somebody
screening of the images? >> we will just see how it goes. our policy right now is to release all the images. if they come out and something is there someone can interpret. our feeling is generally that we are not worried about what folks be on the team might want to interpret in terms of features that we might see. our approach will always be to take an integrated look, using all the instruments, think carefully about what we are doing, and then make a statement. if there was ever anything as profound as you are describing we would take our time with it, no matter how much jumping up and down there would be in the background. >> we are going next to leo.
>> the first cosmic ray experiment on the moon was an irish experiment. there is a lot of interest in this cosmic ray detector, believe it or not. even looking at the early data what do you hope from it? can you say at this stage what it would be like for a man or woman standing on the surface from what you see so far? what sort of radiation dosage? >> it is a complex environment. the atmosphere modifies the radiation spectra and so does the surface. characterizing the neutron internment on the surface is one of the most interesting questions or the lease constrained measurements for the model. the rad instrument is much more
than just a simple dosimeter. it is like a thumb nail from an image point of view. is the energy sector that is a function of time. to be able to compare those back into the transport models is really our goal. understanding the transport we can improve our model and hold that back in so we can design the most effective shielding for astronauts when we send them to march in the future. >> the navcam panorama is your first look at the neighborhood, if you will. i was wondering what your immediate thoughts are about the
scientific potential of the site in have landed on. >> i think it is incredibly high. everything we see there suggests a remarkable range of diversity. i chose to single out the issue of the depth of the soil because this is a question that our scientists have wondered about for a long time. we have an instrument now they can reach down to a depth of 50 centimeters and look for hydrogen bearing substances. the image shows us right away that it will not be ice. so we are good for planetary protection on that one, as promised. instead, it looks like bedrock. when the instrument was first built, the hope was that it might search for ice one day. in the meantime, all these hydrated minerals were discovered on mars. in terms of applying its to do
mineralogy on the subsurface, i think it is really exciting. the great thing about it is that we get an immediate calibration point of the depth of soil so that as we drive away, the interpretation of the data will always involve interpreting a multilayer system. we already have a hard datapoint on the debt to the hard rock. if we choose to use our other science instruments there to see what is in there, we get compositional information as well. that is just one example of how this really diverse payload can be used to figure out problems that have not been addressed before. there is a ton of others out there that we can see. >> we will take the phone line next. please go ahead. bob >> my question is for john. i was struck by your
description of the early view of gale crater bearing some resemblance to the view of the mojave desert. if you could give a geology class here and talk about what would produce this sort of landscape? >> that would take a long time. the short version of it is, let me try to paint the picture this way. my first experience with mars was when spirit an opportunity landed. when spirit landed, a lot of the folks that work on previous mars missions had a feeling it was a lot like pathfinder. when opportunity lead, it looked completely different. those of us novices wondered at the time if nasa was making up the data.
until we solve all of these blueberries, and then resell the context for that and thought we could not make that up. it is just too weird. now this time, with curiosity we landed something that looks very mars like but it also looks earth like, with those mountains in the background. it looks a lot like what you see out in the mojave desert. it is really cool, and it makes you feel at home. without the geology lesson, and the great experience there is that we are looking at a place that feels really comfortable. what will be interesting is to find out all the ways it is different. >> we have one here at the front of the room and then we will go to the phone lines again. >> i think we now know the
landing site location down to eight or 10 decimal places. can we get the time of landing down to two decimal places? >> i think i have the time on my phone here. >> it will go to the next question and then come back and answer that one. >> this is for john. now that we know where the ballast came down, is it safe to say they are too far away for curiosity to go and check out those new fresh impact craters? is that just not possible? >> a lot of us hoped that those
things would come down close to where we landed. these things are really far away. as the crow flies, they are not that far away, but the obstacle is this dune field that we have no desire to drive across unless we have to. they look like they have landed a part of the amount that has flows that will be interesting in their own right. we would have to do an enormous you turn -- u-turn or around the dune field.
>> in mexico i am an astronomer and study space weather. the question is, nasa has developed software to watch the meteorological conditions. >> the rems experiment will provide the weather as well as uv radiation. we will also be measuring the space whether from the surface and those will be. we only get the data down once a day, so will not be real time.
>> you made some references to koehler that may or may not be there in the image. can you -- some references to color. can you walk us through what might be able to be observed and photographed or the extent to which mars is the color we are seeing right there? >> you can see that breitbart street was eight times brighter than the shadow around it. what you are getting less linkage of that light into that dark area. it is difficult to do in a shadowed area like that.
any color information i would see there would be suspect. this image was officially processed that i would not contend that this is what mars looks like. i was interested in just showing you quality of what the surface look like. this camera does have a filter on at, and it makes color the same way your cellphone camera or your camcorder makes color. the builder has red green, and blue patches on that exactly match up with the pick list of your camera. then use some interpolation techniques to average all those colors together. that was done to this image on
the spacecraft. our camera did that interpolation and did the jped compression. it works in a different mathematical color space. it is very difficult for me to give you a specific answer and say that color is right or wrong. and the other terrorist where we have calibration targets it will take images of mars. here we are seeing the surface of mars and this is the information we are getting. have multiple --the mast cams have multiple filters.
>> let's go first to jennifer. >> we have directly from the plight software message sent to us from the vehicle -- from the flight software message. it is about 10:17 p.m. pacific time. we did not get that signal until 10:30 to because of the lifetime to mars until now. the first hazcam image was taken between one and two minutes after that. 17:57 utc. >> another question at the back.
>> what is the average level of radiation during the 8.5 month cruise from earth to mars and what are the implications of that on future manned flight to mars? >> we are still taking a neutral park -- particle measurements but from the seven months of --if you assume an astronomical weirdos is on the order of a siebert -- the astronomical dose is on the order of a siebert.
>> i think we have time for one more question. >> i was wondering if the robotic arms can reach out to the scar marks and it if there are any thought to stay in place initially are going to make